Staircasing buying more shares

If you want to buy more shares, you will need to write to us to let us know the percentage you would like to buy. The exact details for your property will be included in your lease and the following process may vary slightly. Some leases will restrict the amount of additional shares you can buy at any one time to 10-25%. If you wish to purchase more shares than your lease allows, please contact us to discuss this.

Staircasing process

Step one

When we receive your letter we will contact you to confirm arrangements for your property to be valued by a chartered surveyor. We can organise this for you and recharge the cost to you. Alternatively, you can arrange for your own survey. If you choose to use your own surveyor, they must meet the following criteria:

  • the valuer must not be related to you
  • the valuer must not be employed by any bank/ building society
  • the valuer must be registered with the recognised qualification of FRICS or MRICS.

We will require a copy of the valuation report. This should be valid for a period of three months (and should be valid until completion takes place).

The report must include at least three comparable properties used to determine the value and must also state that we can use the contents of the valuation report.

If you have carried out any improvements to the property, you should make the surveyor aware when they visit. A separate figure should be provided in the report to confirm the type and value of the improvements. Please note that we always require a copy of the full valuation report and we may ask the surveyor to justify the valuation provided.

Step two

The valuation will be used to determine a price for the share you want to buy. Normally the minimum percentage you can buy is 10% and the maximum is 25%. We will write to you to confirm the value of the property and the amount you will need to pay for your additional share.

Step three

If you want to purchase further shares you must tell us in writing.

You will need to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf, the costs of which you will have to pay.

It is anticipated that a staircasing transaction will be complete within three months. You and your solicitor need to work to this timescale and make sure that you provide all of the relevant information required to progress accordingly.

During these three months you will need to arrange a mortgage and complete the purchase of the further share. If your purchase is outside of the three month period you will be required to pay for the valuation to be reconsidered by the surveyor. Before completion of your purchase of the additional shares you will be required to pay any outstanding rent and service charges on your account.

When you are staircasing up to 100% ownership and you are purchasing a house, you may serve us notice that you also wish to acquire the freehold of the premises for no extra charge.

Please be aware, where you have staircased up to 100% your lease may require that you offer us the option to buy back your home or find a buyer for you when you wish to sell. Some properties will be subject to a freehold service charge after staircasing to 100%. You should check this before completion.

We can give further advice or you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or your own legal representative for help.

Remember that house prices can go up or down. This means that sometimes you might pay more for buying additional shares or you may have to sell them at a lower price than you originally paid for them.

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